Man ignores Fruitland evacuation orders to protect property

Officials have confirmed at least 17 homes have burned due to the fire.

FRUITLAND, Wash. -- The Carpenter Road Fire has Fruitland and surrounding areas under a Level 3 evacuation, but one man refused to head the warning Friday.

"Last night, every which way you look, it's been on fire," Fruitland resident Shayne Loe said.

The Carpenter Road Fire has spread at an alarming rate. On Tuesday, roughly 9,000 acres were affected and by Friday morning, that number jumped to roughly 28,000 acres.

"I can see why my wife was so hysterical," Loe said. "But, you know, we need to stay calm and fight it and not get scared."

While many of his friends, including his wife, are seeking shelter elsewhere, Loe is staying put to protect his home.

"I'm just out of money because I spent it all on fuel," Loe said.

READ: Latest alerts on Inland Northwest wildfires

He's not ready to move, and he said he's optimistic his property can survive this. He said he has been preparing for nearly a week.

"I know it's going to be okay," Loe said. "The fire can only take what it can burn and if you remove the fuel you're going to be all right."

However many fire officials feared the worst as winds picked up Friday.

"The fire speeds is something we can't do anything about," Stevens Co. District No. 2 Fire Chief Rick Anderson said. "If it's like last week, it's going to ground the aircraft and we're not going to be able to get overhead air attack and retardant airplanes and we're going to watch it run."

If that happens, that means the number of homes destroyed might climb higher than the more than 17 already confirmed.

"If this goes up, then I'm really in trouble. Might as well burn out," Loe said.

A fire official said they were making progress on the ground, but because of the smoke they have had limited air support, which is desperately needed to help contain this fire.


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